The ATL METRO RBI Board of Directors tapped long-time youth league baseball coach Harold Michael Harvey to serve as a Director on its board. Harvey will begin a two year term on January 24, 2018.
According to John Hollins, Jr. CEO of the group, “The sole purpose of ATL METRO RBI is to bring an awareness of career opportunities in baseball to boys and girls in the Metro Atlanta community who are otherwise underserved when it comes to career opportunities in baseball on the collegiate and professional level.”
The organization has a 501-C-3 non-profit status. It was organized in 2014 and has forged a close working relationship with Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves Baseball Franchise through the MLB RBI summer program.
Hollins said that he expects the Atlanta Braves to play a robust part going forward in building the ATL METRO RBI into one of MLB’s top summer programs. The Board will meet at offices located at Sun Trust Park.
Harvey began his youth league coaching career when his wife registered their son Coley to play Little League at Adams Park in Southwest Atlanta. He took charge of a group of six and seven year-olds and vowed to stay with them until they went off to college or to professional baseball.
Ninety-eight percent of Harvey’s players earned either an athletic or academic scholarship. One played quarterback at both Auburn and Georgia Tech, one served as Chairman of the Atlanta Public Schools and one is currently playing professional baseball in The Netherlands.
Harvey, a former college baseball player at Tuskegee Institute is a member of the Pioneer Committee of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. As a member of the Pioneer Committee he is tasked with identifying Black college baseball players from 1880 through 1975 who merit induction into the Hall of Fame.
Additionally, Harvey writes about baseball at Black College Nines, a website dedicated to preserving the history of Black college baseball.
“I am honored to receive this appointment,” Harvey said.
“The work of this board is an extension of what I tried to do with the Homestead Grays Baseball Academy we ran on limited funds and resources from 1992 through 2003. Now that we have the ears of Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves, I am again excited to pitch in and help kids gain the knowledge that could open up a career in the front office of some major league team, or in the broadcast booth, or at the shortstop position in Yankee Stadium,” Harvey said.
“I truly believe that engaging boys and girls in baseball as a career can slow the tide towards gang activity in the Black community,” he said, as he explained why he thinks youth league baseball is important.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org